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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

who feel very deeply on this matter have had long and various consultations.
We have considered every possible course of action, but we have come to the
very reluctant conclusion that we must put upon the Order Paper of the
House of Commons an Amendment which would express our views.
I hope that the moderation of the words that I propose to use to-day, will
be taken for what in fact, it is, an understatement, and that hon. Members
will not think that, because of that moderation., my hon. Friends and I
do not feel most deeply and sincerely in this matter. . . .
The Amendment contains a direct criticism of the policy of the Govern-
ment, and the decisions which were arrived at, as a result of the Yalta
Conference. It contains, therefore, a criticism of the Prime Minister as
head of His Majesty's Government. . . .
. . . The great matter oil which we disagree, and which has caused us
to put down the Amendment is the case of Poland. Let it not be thought
that those of us who take this view very strongly are more Polish than the
Poles. . . .
. . . We are looking at this matter through British eyes. We know that
the Poles feel their national entity strongly and that is partly why we sympat-
hise with them so much in this case. We feel also strong views in the matter
from a British point of view. We feel that we are British, through and through
and out the other side, and it is particularly for that reason that we regret
anything which might be done or is done which will have the effect of casting
British honour into doubt. The only difference between the cases of
Esthonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in this matter is that Poland was
the country for which Great Britain took up arms in 1939. It was a casus belli
as we know. There was the greater over-riding motives of preventing the
domination of Europe by sheer force of arms. ... I would say that as
a result of this Yalta Agreement, if it goes through, Poland is to lose nearly
half her territory, a third of her population, 85 per cent, of her oil and
natural gas, half her timber and peat, half her chemical industry, nearly
half her grain, hemp and flax, and nearly 40 p * cent, of her water power,
potassium mines and phosphates and the ancient Lion City of Lwow
which stood up for centuries against attacks from North and South and from
the East.
Poland is not all Pripet marshes. It has stood for countless generations
against invader after invader, coming from different parts of Europe and
the East. I have told the House what is happening , can all that be made good
by a postdated cheque, by the cession of territory now belonging to Germany
and containing we know not what ? That is all in complete defiance of
four treaties, particularly those entered into between Poland and Russia.
It is contrary to the Atlantic Charter, about which I should like to have
something to say before I sit down. It is also contrary to the Anglo-Polish
Treaty of Mutual Assistance of 1919. I referred to the Treaty and the secret
Protocol attached to it on 15th December .... I do not over-estimate
the importance of that secret Protocol because it seems to me that the
passages in that Treaty have a direct connection with my next questionó
how about the Atlantic Charter. In the Yalta Agreement, the Atlantic
Charter is, I think, rather ingenuously and certainly unctuously mentioned
on more than one occasion. . . .
This Atlantic Charter was brought out with all the pontifical ** bally-hoo "
of the Thirty-nine Articles, the Ten Commandments, President Wilson's
Fourteen Points and the Beveridge Report, rolled into one. . . . Article 2
of the Atlantic Charter was the one which worried me most at the time
because I feared that it applied to Germany, and I did not wish to apply
Article 2 to Germany. What has happened since ? About two years later,
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